Pawsey centre’s pioneer quantum education programme

Perth’s Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre is supporting a pioneering quantum education and research program to give students access to one of the first educational quantum computers in Australia.

Based at the University of Western Australia, the new programme will enable researchers and students to upskill in the emerging area of quantum computing and engage with Pawsey’s Quantum Supercomputing Innovation Hub.

The education and research hub will be led by quantum physicist Professor Jingbo Wang and will offer two desktop quantum computers, the two-qubit SpinQ Gemini and the three-qubit SpinQ Triangulum system, operating at room temperature.

While the SpinQ systems look like a standard desktop computer tower, they work by trapping specially selected molecules in a powerful magnetic field.

They are then zapped with radio frequency pulses to manipulate the nuclear spins within the molecules.

Quantum computing, the frontier of minaturisation, stores and retrieves data at the sub atomic level.

Pawsey’s CTO Ugo Varetto said the systems would provide quantum computing experience for students using real devices featuring quantum control design capabilities.

Varetto said: “By empowering the next generation to understand quantum computing today, they will be ready when quantum technologies are accessible to all. We are setting the foundation for the future of quantum technologies.”

Professor Jingbo Wang said quantum computing offers a wealth of new possibilities for communication and information processing.

“Quantum computing holds the promise of solving problems which are otherwise intractable on conventional computers.

“It also requires a whole new set of knowledge and skills for the next generation of research scientists and engineers. To give them a quantum mindset at an early age, the students will be on the cutting edge with their advanced knowledge.”

CSIRO estimates the domestic market opportunity from quantum computing to be worth $2.5 billion per annum in revenue. The sector has the potential to create 10,000 new jobs by 2040.

Pawsey Education and Training Manager Ann Backhaus said there was growing demand for education, training and support making use of Pawsey’s foray into quantum computing.

“In 2021, about 10 percent of Pawsey’s 46 interns undertook quantum-based research during their 10-week programme.

“The unique combination of supercomputing and quantum computing helps students step beyond 0s and 1s – binaries – to develop a quantum mindset.”

Picture: Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre

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